My daughter is strong in front of me. She yells and tries to prove that she has rights as a 12 year old to be alone—to have her privacy, sometimes not to pray, nor eat with us. However, she is weak in front of her friends, classmates, and teachers. She can't stand up for herself unless we ask her. She doesn't want us to know anything happening at school. By accident, her brother told us about an incident at school. She got mad and told us that she couldn't stop the situation. Another time, one of her classmates knocked her down. The school gave the highest achievement to another girl in her class by mistake and I had to talk to her principal to recalculate the marks again until they recognized her. She thinks no body listens to her. She wants me to obey her when she asks me to leave the room, and at the same time, she disobeyed her father recently. I do not understand her. Whenever we talk, she tries to convince me that she is a victim. How can I help her?
Your daughters' unkind treatment of family members at home are probably a result of her inability to achieve respect from her peers. There are many forms of bullying and it is not restrictive to boys or teenagers. Girls bully and there is also corporate bullying. Your daughter lashes out at you and at her father, because it is safe for her to do so. If she is not responding to you, her priest at church, or the intervention of her church stewards, I recommend speaking to the school counselor or a family therapist. These professionals may be able to circumvent some of the unpleasant experiences she is having with her peers and perhaps teach her assertiveness. In your daughter's attempt to exercise assertiveness, unfortunately, she is displaying aggressive behavior. Her refusal to eat and some of the other inappropriate behaviors, which you mentioned, is displaying a cry for help and her attempt to gain control. She needs intervention. She is probably convinced that she is a victim. Perception is reality. Some Coptic Churches now have graduates from the Family Ministry Program who are trained in counseling techniques and serve as Lay Christian Helpers. Perhaps you can check at your church or neighboring Coptic churches for these servants to intervene. This is not an easy age. Though she may be saying the opposite, she still needs you. Continue to pray for your daughter and be supportive when you can without completely compromising all principles.